Gardens and jungles

Socialism is a garden, where every plant gets its plot. And a garden can be very pretty, even productive, after a fashion. But the garden exists for the gardener. Nobody asks what the rose bush wants; nobody cares if the carrot has rights; nobody worries about the weeds. A garden is very much about selecting some to thrive and some to die.

Liberty is a jungle, and men have a natural hatred of jungles. You have to protect them, or they’ll be eaten up by other schemes. But in the jungle every plant gets a chance. Only in the woods do the trees have rights.

Exodus 21:2-7

2 When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.
3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone.
5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’
6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever. – Exodus 21:2-6

I think the most troubling part of this passage is where the wife comes from. But I think the most reasonable explanation may be that she is the slave owner’s daughter. If that is true, then giving her to him would be a kind of adoption.

Military Character Evaluation

I’m currently working on my quarterly performance checkup for work. Due to a peculiar artifact of military performance evaluations, we are advised to frame things in terms of precise achievements as much as possible, and yet the new evaluation system for officers is designed to place values ahead of individual events. The result is that my first block of evaluation asks me to list performance objectives and achievements for my character. Here’s my first rough draft for my character objectives:

• Maintain a character clean enough, I could pin it to my sleeve.
• Don’t pin my character to my sleeve.